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What you can learn from the movie “THE FOUNDER”?

The Founder is one amazing movie and is a must watch for every entrepreneur. It not only gives you life lessons and but also few path breaking business lessons.

The Founder is one amazing movie and is a must watch for every entrepreneur. It not only gives you life lessons and but also few path breaking business lessons.

The Founder is story of Ray Crock. How a 52-year-old sales man turned two brothers (McDonald Brothers) small eatery into the world’s biggest restaurant business. McDonald brothers had invented the speedy system a process to deliver food in seconds but couldn’t develop business beyond their one restaurant. This is Ray Crock comes re-imagines the whole fast food business and created the McDonald Corporation we see today.

So, why The Founder is important?

1) It teaches you the most important thing Persistence.

Founder is biopic on Ray Crockslife, who is the person behind the success of biggest fast food chain the McDonald’s (by the way he was not creator of McDonalds but the force behind the giant we know as McDonald Corporation) and this illustrious and huge brand he created when he was in his fifties. What lead this over the hill old man to achieve all this?A single word PERSISTENCE!

In the first act of the movie after a terribly unsuccessfulday of selling milk shake machines and eating erstwhile fast food. Ray checks into his room listening to audio lecture – this scene is particularly important as this narrative exposition is the crux of Rays Journey in coming years.

Following lines are plays in that audio lecture:

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.

2) Importance of Legal Documentation.

In order to grow Ray Crock decides McDonalds had to go with franchise model to expand coast to coast in America. McDonalds brothers original franchise model had failed and as they partnered with Ray they had a very strict agreement more favoring them then Ray. Even though franchises were pouring, Ray was making peanuts because of anunaffordable contract he was in.

He couldn’t innovate in business, couldn’t revisit his royalties (Since McDonalds brothers were petrified of any change) and controlling franchises behavior was also becoming tough especially in the age of no technology and your restaurants are miles apart.

How, he survived all this, by re-inventing the whole business strategy. Instead of allowing franchises open restaurant on their land they bought properties and leased them out. This solved the most important problem to control franchises and maintain high standard if they breach the contract they would be out. This also solved problem of revenue because now a new business model was in place independent of original contact with McDonald brothers.

Ray was able to achieve all this by forming a brand new company. So what does it teaches us!

It teaches us to be cautious before entering into agreements.

It teaches us the benefit of formation of new legal entity and ofcourse selection of appropriate company structure.

3) Brand Building and Brand Protection

Whenever we think about McDonalds we associate it with kids, family having a great time. Ray in this movie associated it with family breaking bread together with classic American food. He envisions like every town in America has a court and church should have a McDonalds which helps feeding people in most cost-effective way. Just like Church with a cross and court with a flag McDonalds needed a symbol to identify its brand. Bingo!There it was the Majestic Golden Arches – even today you can recognize McDonald with its shiny M representing its presence. At the end of the movie Ray with his sheer determination owned this intellectual property from the original owners.

It teaches you one very very important lesson, never ever think twice in investing and protecting your brand, commonly known as Trademark.

An incomplete brand protection can always land you in soup. Always protect your trademark with trademark registration both in word mark, Logo as well as specific color scheme in case it identifies you. Who knows when your simple color turns in gold?

4) Keeping your Priorities Straight

When Ray was expanding his franchise business he did what most do, he contacted super rich. He went to their clubs, parties and pitched the idea of McDonald’s speedy system and partnership benefits. And being a seasoned salesman was able to get them interested. But in return he was not able to successfully monetize those connections even after putting in the significant efforts – reasons they were just too busy to put effort in the restaurant. Modified menu and ignored high standards – spoiling the brand itself.

Reason- wrong target audience, those people are already successful, well established and had different priorities and his venture the FAST FOOD restaurant in those times was no so eye catching and did not involved big bucks.

Even though he was able to franchise it initially things did not went so well – Ray changed his plan and choose hardworking couples as franchises. Bingo!It worked.

What does this teach you all to keep your priority straight, do a thorough analysis of your business target customers as well as Investors and channelize your energy in right direction to achieve good conversion ratio or high ROI.

5) Team Selection

Your team decides your growth, understand this and focus on what your business needs first.

In case your business depends on mid level skill set, clerical work, higher people that are happy to learn process and do not want any challenge. In this scenario never go for a creative and an intelligent people, they will be unhappy and of-course will soon look for other opportunities.

In case your business follows a set pattern and procedure. People without any specialization or formal education can be trained always try to choose hardworking people who actually need a stable earning. Your employee retention will be good and of-course both the team and you will be happy!

Ray Crock had a mantra after getting his fingers burned by franchising rich businessmen – he selected a team which would satisfy his restaurants needs and work round the clock- he chose only couples, so that they can work together, stay together and work life balance would be at the peak and business will prosper. Ingenious isn’t it.

Ray’s life is a true embodiment of struggles every budding entrepreneur and startups face - even in today’s times. How pivoting the idea from its original plan and embracing change is the back bone of any sustaining business. While McDonald brothers were genius inventors of their speedy system – it was Ray Crocks determination which created a new market of fast food franchise out of thin air. We can conclude by saying The Founder is a faultless tribute to this American business innovator and a must watch for those who carry the title of a “Founder”.

About the Author

Anu Sharma

Is a qualified Patent attorney. Founder & Director at Company360.in (Experts in Company registration, Trademark Registration & Patent Filing in India, a IIT KGP Alum, Beyond being a legal eagle she is an adventurous cook and loves exploring new cuisines. 

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Anu Sharma is Founder & Director at Company360.in (Experts in Company, Trademark & Patent Registrations). She is also IIT KGP alum beyond being a legal eagle she is an adventurous cook and loves exploring new cuisines.

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